Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Our Man in the Caribbean Day 2

There's only one synagogue left in Jamaica, Sharei Shalom Synagogue, the United Congregation Synagogue. After a devastating earthquake in 1882 destroyed the Sephardic and Ashkenazi synagogues, these groups came together and founded a new congregation. A synagogue was built but destroyed in a fire in 1907. A new building was completed in 1912, and it's still in use today, although the community has diminished and changed over the years. I'll be writing much more on this beautiful place, one of a handful of synagogues with a sand floor, in the near future.


Alissa said...

Was this one of the synagogues that Nikila Cole took her daughter to? I can't remember if they went to Jamaica, or just Cuba. Either way, it's cool. Did anyone explain why the sand?

ps: bahahahaha! My verification word is "brans" - you know I totally read that as "braiiiiins" hee :)

Deena said...

I've never seen live blogging before. That is very cool. Almost like twitter in a blog.

Anonymous said...

yes, it's definitely one of the synagogues I took Sarah to in Wanderings. There are lots of explanations for the sand but the most common one is that the Jews prayed secretly originally in back rooms. They used sand to deaden the sound. The other explanation was that they had to pray secretly on the beach. Either way, the sand is a tribute to those times and their's a beautiful synagogue! Nikila